Caroline Flack: Stars perform at Flackstock festival in honour of tragic TV star

·5-min read
 (Dave Benett)
(Dave Benett)

Family and friends of Caroline Flack have paid tribute to the late TV presenter at a festival in her honour.

Acts from the worlds of comedy, dance and music celebrated the Love Island host’s life as they raised funds for charities Mind, Samaritans, Choose Love and the Charlie Waller Trust.

Opening the event, the 40-year-old star’s sister Jody told a crowd that everyone performing was a friend of Ms Flack, saying it was an ideal day “full of dancing”.

She said: “This is who she was, this is what she liked, we are sort of encapsulating her today.

“We have tried to do that from the very beginning, our motto was ‘What would Caroline do’ the whole way through.

“Today is definitely a good day, there is a lot of bad ones there have been but today is a good one.”

Jody added that there would “hopefully” be another Flackstock in the future.

Pixie Lott during the Flackstock festival in memory of Caroline Flack (PA)
Pixie Lott during the Flackstock festival in memory of Caroline Flack (PA)

Fleur East, Pixie Lott and Joel Dommett were among those who performed in the grounds of Englefield House, near Pangbourne in Berkshire on Monday.

Singer Lott dedicated Use Somebody by Kings of Leon to Ms Flack, telling the crowd: “We are all here for the amazing Caroline Flack, I love you so much Cazza.”

The festival committee comprised Caroline’s mother Christine and sister Jody, as well as her close friends Dawn O’Porter, Natalie Pinkham, Anna Blue, Sarah Tyekiff and Leigh and Jill Francis.

Natalie Pinkham, Jody Flack and Dawn O’Porter attend the Flackstock festival (PA)
Natalie Pinkham, Jody Flack and Dawn O’Porter attend the Flackstock festival (PA)

Writer O’Porter said: “She was such a loved TV personality and I think her death affected so many people, I think it reminded people that what you see is not necessarily what you get.

“I think everyone assumed that Caroline was extremely okay when she wasn’t and I think a lot of people have taken a lot from that.

“She loved festivals more than anything in the world so we thought she should just get her one of her own.

“The line-up is mostly her friends, Caroline knew so many people and especially doing The X Factor the amount of people she knew from all the jobs she did so we got together and just asked everyone and pretty much everyone we asked said yes.

“In terms of trying to book a line-up it really came to us. It is everything I expected but it is so emotional, I keep going up and down.”

TV presenter Pinkham added: “We didn’t get the chance to give her a proper send-off like so many people we didn’t get that opportunity, but I think there is a wider issue here which is mental health, I think Covid and lockdown proved that no-one is impervious to mental health struggles.

Rylan Clark remembers his friend (PA)
Rylan Clark remembers his friend (PA)

“We really wanted to make the conversation a positive one but push it forward. The #BeKind hashtag trended after she died but I didn’t want it to be a transient thing and I think it is so important to bolster it with something a couple years on.

“I dreamt about Caroline a lot after she died and this idea came about bringing friends and family together a bit like a memorial service but also that raises a lot of money and awareness for mental health causes.

“It has been a really positive amazing process. Everyone we asked said yes and that is testament to her personality and how positive Caroline was but also how much people want to counter all the negativity, its been great.”

Celebrity appearances also included Professor Green, TV presenter Dermot O’Leary, Kirsty Gallacher, Paddy McGuinness, Noel Fielding and June Sarpong.

Fleur East attends the Flackstock festival in memory of Caroline Flack at Pangbourne, Berkshire (PA)
Fleur East attends the Flackstock festival in memory of Caroline Flack at Pangbourne, Berkshire (PA)

Strictly Come Dancing stars Janette Manrara and her husband Aljaz Skorjanec also arrived at the event on Monday.

Ms Flack, who took her own life in February 2020, was crowned the winner of Strictly in 2014 alongside her professional partner Pasha Kovalev.

Skorjanec said: “We were really lucky that we became such great friends after Strictly.

“I think it was meant to be, we started hanging out straight after the show, especially Janette and Caroline they were close so its a beautiful feeling to be here today in her memory and celebrate what she loved doing so much, music festivals and dancing she would have loved that.”

Manrara added: “Every time we hung out non-work wise the first thing she would do was pop on a song start singing, start dancing, she loved music, she loved singing and dancing so I think today is a perfect celebration of that part of her.

Comedian Keith Lemon and Joel Dommett in Pangbourne, Berkshire (PA)
Comedian Keith Lemon and Joel Dommett in Pangbourne, Berkshire (PA)

“I think every single person performing today knew how special she was and that’s probably why the yes’s came so quick. She loved being at festivals so what better way to celebrate her than having one.”

The married couple later performed a dance on stage to Footloose before teaching the crowd some salsa steps and coordinating a festival dance with Dommett and Keith Lemon joining the pair on stage.

TV presenter Rylan Clark also took to the stage, telling the crowd: “I tell you what if she was hear she wouldn’t remember any of it, you know what she was like. This is unreal.

“When they asked me to come I said absolutely even though I have a 6pm flight to Scotland.”

Caroline Flack - In pictures

2019: Caroline Flack as host of Love Island (ITV)
2019: Caroline Flack as host of Love Island (ITV)
2014: Caroline Flack in Strictly Come Dancing (BBC/PA)
2014: Caroline Flack in Strictly Come Dancing (BBC/PA)
2015: Caroline Flack briefly hosting The X Factor (Thames/Syco production for ITV)
2015: Caroline Flack briefly hosting The X Factor (Thames/Syco production for ITV)
2019: Caroline Flack attending the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena, London. (PA)
2019: Caroline Flack attending the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena, London. (PA)
2019: Caroline Flack and Lewis Burton leaving Bagatelle restaurant after celebrating her 40th Birthday (SplashNews.com)
2019: Caroline Flack and Lewis Burton leaving Bagatelle restaurant after celebrating her 40th Birthday (SplashNews.com)
Caroline Flack attends the Brits Awards 2018 After Party hosted by Warner Music Group, Ciroc and British GQ  at Freemasons Hall on February 21, 2018 in London,England. (Dave Benett)
Caroline Flack attends the Brits Awards 2018 After Party hosted by Warner Music Group, Ciroc and British GQ at Freemasons Hall on February 21, 2018 in London,England. (Dave Benett)
2018: Caroline Flack attending the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena, London. (PA)
2018: Caroline Flack attending the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena, London. (PA)
2018: Roxie Nafousi and Caroline Flack attend the launch of The Tanqueray No.10 Table at Dalloway Terrace hosted by Gizzi Erskine (Dave Benett)
2018: Roxie Nafousi and Caroline Flack attend the launch of The Tanqueray No.10 Table at Dalloway Terrace hosted by Gizzi Erskine (Dave Benett)
2018: Caroline Flack attending the National Television Awards held at the O2 Arena, London. (PA)
2018: Caroline Flack attending the National Television Awards held at the O2 Arena, London. (PA)
2017: Caroline Flack attends an intimate dinner hosted by Henry Holland and Andrew Nugent to celebrate the House of Holland Resort 18 collection and Bird In Hand wine collaboration at Carousel London (Dave Benett)
2017: Caroline Flack attends an intimate dinner hosted by Henry Holland and Andrew Nugent to celebrate the House of Holland Resort 18 collection and Bird In Hand wine collaboration at Carousel London (Dave Benett)
2017: Caroline Flack attending the Fashion Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, London. (PA )
2017: Caroline Flack attending the Fashion Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, London. (PA )

Funds raised will be equally split between the charities Choose Love, Mind, Samaritans and the Charlie Waller Trust.

The festival had a mindfulness set up by the charity Mind featuring workshops all day guaranteed to “charge your soul and mind,” O’Porter told the crowd.

It was also announced that Sky were recording the festival for a documentary broadcasting in August.

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